Sales planning

Well fourth quarter is here. While many will scramble to hit their revenue goals, if they’re not on track yet it’s probably because they started too late last year.  So, this year start earlier to improve revenue next!!!

Most sales managers will tell you, if the sales aren’t already in the pipeline, hitting your goal is a shot in the dark.  That’s because they know how to play “the numbers game” we call sales.

Good sales management is all about putting a plan together and executing it with your sales team.  Problem is most small business owners don’t have sales management experience.  So, they aren’t sure how to put a plan together.

If you fall into that category read the previous post titled Building Your Sales Plan Doesn’t Have to be Rocket Science to get a better idea of the mechanics of putting your sales plan together to improve revenue.  Or if you want step-by-step training I recommend our online training program Selling by the Numbers – Creating Predictability in Your Sales.

Good Sales Planning to Improve Revenue

First, thing you can do to improve revenue is  do your planning as early as possible in Q4.  This helps with business planning because your sales plan supports the actual business plan.  It also helps you more realistically prepare your business plan.

Second, with your sales plan ready in October or early November, you can use the rest of the year to get everything ready to start January 2.  You know there will be all kinds of support and logistics tasks to deal with.  If you have to handle this on January 2 you may not be ready to start selling until February.  This puts you 1 month behind in achieving your revenue goal.

Third while planning, make sure you know you revenue targets month-by-month and quarter-by-quarter.  This lets you monitor progress from January 2.

Fourth, now that you know what you want to accomplish to improve revenue work with marketing to put integrated action plans together to support the goal.  Lead generation is key to improve revenue and a major function of marketing.  If you need help with this New Marketing Lighthouse, our strategic marketing partner, can help shed light on this part of your plan.

Fifth, as I said previously, monitor revenue from day 1!  If you aren’t increasing revenue as you expect to be at the end of January you have 11 months to adjust.  Too often small business owners don’t begin addressing under-performing sales until Q2 or Q3.  This leaves much less time to address the problems and still improve revenue.

If you’re unsure of how to figure out what to monitor this is a great place to apply our Revenue Engine Performance Analyzer.  It will tell you exactly what you need to know if order to make your sales predictable and manageable!

So, there you have it.  Five things you can work on now to make to improve revenue next year.  It’s not rocket science, however there is a little science to getting it done.  If you need help drop me an email and I’ll help you improve your revenue next year.